Tarek Mehanna: Criminalized for Doing the Right Thing
Mehanna deserves praise, not prison.
by Stephen Lendman
Post-9/11, the Bush administration declared war on terror. It was sham cover for eroding personal freedoms and waging war on humanity.
Muslims became prime targets. They've been victimized, vilified, and persecuted for their faith, ethnicity, prominence, activism, and charity.
They've been hunted down, rounded up, held in detention, kept in isolation, denied bail, restricted in their right to counsel, tried on secret evidence, convicted on bogus charges, and given long sentences.
They've been incarcerated in segregated Communication Management Units (CMUs). Doing so violates US Prison Bureau regulations and the Supreme Court's February 2005 Johnson v. California decision.
They're political prisoners, not criminals. Based on scoundrel media reports, you'd never know it. They're complicit supporters of state terror.
On October 21, 2009, Mehanna was wrongfully and maliciously charged with "conspir(ing) with Ahmad Abousamra and others to provide material support and resources for use in carrying out a conspiracy to kill, kidnap, main or injure persons or damage property in a foreign country and extraterritorial homicide of a US national."
No evidence whatever proved it. Nonetheless, he was accused of conspiring with others "to participate in violent jihad against American interests and that they would talk about fighting jihad and their desire to die on the battlefield."
False charges also claimed they "attempted to radicalize others and inspire each other by, among other things, watching and distributing jihadi videos."
In fact, there was no plot, no crime, no intent to commit one, and no evidence proving otherwise. He was targeted for posting pro-jihadist material online. According to Massachusetts ACLU education director Nancy Murray :
"It might be speech that horrifies people, but it's the nature of the First Amendment to protect that speech, unless it's leading to imminent lawless action."
No matter. On June 24, 2010, the Supreme Court ruled nonviolent speech and advocacy "coordinated with (or) under the direction of" foreign terrorist groups illegal.
In other words, lawful nonviolent political advocacy, peace conference participation, human rights advocacy training, related legal services and advice, as well as donating cash and humanitarian aid may be unconstitutionally used to convict.